That sentence, in bold type, all capitals, "THE ENCLOSED GAME-USED MATERIAL IS GUARANTEED BY PANINI AMERICA, INC.". Somehow that doesn't make me feel better. If the sentence ended with "TO HAVE BEEN USED BY BILL DICKEY IN A MLB GAME", then I would feel better. It is "guaranteed" to be game used, but in what game, and by who? It brings to mind the Chris Farley classic Tommy Boy.
Tommy: Let's think about this for a sec, Ted. Why would somebody put a guarantee on a box? Hmmm, very interesting.
Ted Nelson, Customer: Go on, I'm listening.
Tommy: Here's the way I see it, Ted. Guy puts a fancy guarantee on a box 'cause he wants you to feel all warm and toasty inside.
Ted Nelson, Customer: Yeah, makes a man feel good.
Tommy: 'Course it does. Why shouldn't it? Ya figure you put that little box under your pillow at night, the Guarantee Fairy might come by and leave a quarter, am I right, Ted?
[chuckles until he sees that Ted is not laughing]
Ted Nelson, Customer: [impatiently] What's your point?
Tommy: The point is, how do you know the fairy isn't a crazy glue sniffer? "Building model airplanes" says the little fairy; well, we're not buying it. He sneaks into your house once, that's all it takes. The next thing you know, there's money missing off the dresser, and your daughter's knocked up. I seen it a hundred times.
Ted Nelson, Customer: But why do they put a guarantee on the box?
Tommy: Because they know all they sold ya was a guaranteed piece of shit. That's all it is, isn't it? Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it guaranteed, I will. I got spare time. But for now, for your customer's sake, for your daughter's sake, ya might wanna think about buying a quality product from me.
There you go, sure it makes a man feel good, but how do you know Panini isn't a bunch of crazy glue-sniffers, cutting up random jerseys and bats from the company slo-pitch game, and sticking them in relic cards of Hall of Fame catchers. Maybe it's not even a bat, maybe it's a broken chair from the coffee room. And trust me when I say this, I don't trust Topps any more, and possibly less than Panini, but I chose to suspend disbelief, and buy this piece of cardboard with a picture of a man who played his last game 34 years before I was born, with a piece of wood stuck in it that may or may not have been a bat at one point. Collecting is weird.